Side-Story Occurring Prior To Generalplan Suden
(From the state archives of the Socialist Dominances of Solstice)
Original Title: Concerning The Idyllic Fields Of Dori Dobo
Original Publication Date: 44th of the Yarrow’s Sun 2003
Author: Daksha Kansal, publishing for The Union Banner
A much beloved strategy from the exploiter toward the exploited is to speak in aberrant terms that redefine the world around them. They drown out the world in the noise of these aberrant discussions until silence and peace cannot be found. They circulate so much analysis and discussion of their terms toward conclusions convenient to them, that it becomes the common tongue, and any other manner of speaking is seen as the aberrant current in the air.
I’m not merely talking about the way Umma and Arjun pronounce words differently, or the unification of the scripts, or grammar subjects. I’m talking about our discussions as people.
I’ve outlined before that we have two classes of people in Ayvarta, whom we can easily refer to without using any terms foreign to us as the “exploiters” and “the exploited.” It is crude but it works for this paper. Exploiters seek to extract value from us for their gain.
They have their own language that they have forced upon our society to expedite the collection of our value, and in many cases, to guide us into offering it willingly without our knowledge. Underpinning this language is a simple idea I will outline below.
To the exploiter, things do not exist to serve their functions. They exist to create value and provide convenience for the exploiter. That is the underpinning of their dialect.
We have seen recent discussion about the production of food in the Dori Dobo region, and it has been dominated by this aberrant dialect, where a farm is an instrument that produces value for its owner through a secondary action of turning out food. We hear about rising prices of food, about the crop selection, about the conditions of the farms as “capital” in someone’s hands. We hear about strikes, and those strikes being crushed, and farm hands being in short supply and wages being low. Nobody seems to put into plain speech the fact that a farm makes food for our nourishment. They are not doing so right now because farms are owned by exploiters who demand the farm produce money for them. Anything else is secondary.
To the exploiter, the most important concept of a farm is that it be quiet, productive, make a lot of money, and require little of the exploiter’s own money to work. Thus the farm is run by laborers, for the exploiter’s convenience, and these laborers are paid poorly and treated poorly, for the exploiter’s profit. Should they tire of this state of affairs, they will certainly come to harm for doing so. As I write there is serious talk of forcing people to work in farms like prisoners, because the farm produces wealth and its production of wealth cannot be interrupted by such a mere thing as workers demanding wages and the chance to live.
To me, and to most normal people, we see a farm and think “this makes food for us.”
But it does not stop there at all! Everything can be viewed this way. For the farm owner to view the farm as an engine that produces money, he must also view food as an engine that produces money, and he does. He prices food such that it makes him the most money for his troubles. Thus, food itself gains the purpose “make money,” of greater importance than “provide nourishment.” For some time and through sheer luck, this methodology has resulted in food prices that large amounts of people can afford, and has therefore widely distributed food, and widely enriched the exploiters. However, the exploiter is ravenous, and if one sees everything as extraction of value, one must keep asking how more value can be extracted. Food can become even cheaper and more available, thus producing more money! It is limited by a few things — land, for example, which is plentiful. And labor — every shell you pay a farm hand is a shell you must make back in some way, if your goal is to “produce money.”
This creates the situation where the farm hands must be paid little, and must be worked more harshly, and must be held to greater scrutiny and generally treated like slaves, to produce the most value and convenience for the exploiter. Cheap labor on a forced march results in more vegetables being delivered, and sold at a cheaper price, thus they are bought in greater bulk, and the exploiter reaps a greater reward. At least, for a certain amount of time.
In the end the result is our situation now. Farm workers are barely able to eat and live under these circumstances, as such they are discontented, and cease to produce. They are removed or destroyed and replaced with new farm workers who do the job more poorly under the same poor conditions due to being unprepared and unmoviated and must then also be destroyed or replaced eventually. Because food “produces money” and does not “provide nourishment.”
And if we are talking about a farm, it is not solely in its relationship to producing food that value is the greatest virtue, but whether food is produced at all! Let us fly back up, and look again at a farm instead of at food specifically. Can you take action such that your farm produces even more value overall? For example, right now, plants for smoking are more valuable than plants for eating, so many farms that could be making food instead produce leisure items, because leisure items are more profitable. This is a minor feature of our local situation in Bada Aso, but it illustrates that there are various ways the exploiter’s mindset causes harm.
Everything works the same way. Medicine does not heal us, it profits the chemical company. Shelter does not house us, it profits the land owners who rent it or sell it. Our society is driven by this exploitation, and our discussion is dragged screaming to the topic of how to keep producing wealth for our exploiters. We cannot discuss the purpose of things — analysis will veer violently back to avenues of discussion that revolve around wealth production.
I posit a radical alternative, for which common language does not exist, such that I had to borrow words and concepts from a foreign land: let us produce food primarily to feed us. This is one of the main facets of what is called Socialism: a nation guided around bread, health and shelter, rather than profit. We produce what we can to care for each other.
From the land owners in Bada Aso, Solstice, and elsewhere the retorts are endless and inevitable. Two basic ones: “Who is going to pay for this?” “How do you expect things to be made if I cannot produce money from them?” This is all part of aberrant discourse. I will ask in its place a sensible question, one that is so simple and obvious and unproblematic that it no longer exists in our political discourse. This question is seen as the province of children: What is the purpose of food? I say the purpose of food is to nourish us. But it is an important question!
We need to eat food to live! In our society, however, seeing food as nourishment is a secret sin. Instead, we are trained to view it as a commodity, a means of exchange. Food loses its basic purpose and gains the purpose to produce money, to make wealth for someone.
Right now there are people starving on the streets of Bada Aso and Dori Dobo.
A significant amount of them used to grow and pick the food they now cannot have!
And why do we not have more food and more affordable food? Why are people starving on the street? We’ve seen this scene before only during natural disasters, during horrendous wars. Certainly no army is looting our crops. There is no storm sweeping all the grain in the Dori region or the Kalu region or the Kucha region, and even if there was, there would be stocks in Bada Aso, and stocks up north in the Tambwe dominance, and massive fields in Jomta.
Simply, the reason is that food is not given to us without providing an adequate value for the exploiter. There are people who take very seriously the job of making sure the exploiters get the exact best value from the food at all times, or else no food is given. Many people: economists, police, food policy administrators, and so on. An entire corps is in place to insure we cannot buy food. It is not that we can’t afford to pay it, and that anybody needs to pay it, but that the exploiter must extract value from it.
We have plenty of food to distribute, but only one permissible method to distribute it — we receive our food so that the farm owner receives a profit, of which, the actual growers of the food see none of.
To these people it makes perfect sense that you and I cannot eat fairly.
Until we reward the exploiters properly, we’re not supposed to eat!
Everything in the world, discussed through their goblin tongues, adds up perfectly today.
Should you or I start suddenly eating well without the exploiters being paid, now that would be a nightmare for the police, and the food policy men, and the economists and the farm owners and so on. That is a nightmare that I want to inflict upon them. Don’t you?
That nightmare is Socialism, under which the engines of society are seen thus: we are not individuals, but a people, and we will make sure the people can eat. We will not stand for individuals prevented from eating such that someone else among the People can profit from their starvation. We will produce food so that everyone can eat enough to live, because the purpose of food is to nourish us. We will make medicine to heal people, not to profit chemical companies. We will raise shelter such that the people are all protected from the elements, not to extract rent or sell villas to the people who have profited from starvation.
A nightmare for the farm owners, but for us, the only sensible way to live.
Let us create the means to content the real farmers who feed us, rather than bayonet them.
–Shacha (Archivist’s note: Daksha Kansal, under a nom de plume.)